This week I have been thinking a lot about what it must be like for someone who doesn’t know Jesus to be looking in at the church. Of course, I have been that person and not a very long time ago. Around six years ago, since I came to church and had a personal encounter with God for myself. Back then I had some pretty fixed ideas on both what God and the church accepted. From my own personal experience, I didn’t believe there was a place for single mums because I didn’t believe that God approved of the way I lived my life and the choices I had made.
Well, as you can tell, six years on I can stand testimony to the fact that there is indeed a place in the church for single mums and, although it would never have been in the original design for my life, God still loved me, Jesus died for me, my sin was taken and my slate wiped clean. I was given a new life, fresh hope, accepted, forgiven and loved. But until then I knew nothing of this redemptive love; marriage, no divorce, don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t murder (phew, one I didn’t commit) so on and so forth. No one told me that even if I did do any of these things Jesus still loved me, God still wanted a relationship with me and I could still go to heaven.
This week in Northern Ireland new laws were passed to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage. A media campaign followed as many Christians took to social media to claim it was the darkest day in Northern Ireland. I just don’t know if we did the church any favours supporting this campaign. by all means, I believe we should pray and petition and do it all in our power with the people of power.
I personally didn’t join the media crusade but I fervently prayed about it. My beliefs remained the same. I know the word of God, I know what the heart of Jesus is and I know how sad he would feel about what happened this week. I know that the aim of what is laid out for us in the Bible guidelines is to give us the best, most fulfilled life, and by following the guidelines and living by them we are going to do the best job of honouring and glorifying God and sharing his heart for the world. I also know what it’s like to be a non-believer with a God size hole in my heart, looking in from the outside and thinking that my bad choices in life excluded me from church and getting to know God.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
Philippians 4:6 NLT
I believe, and I could be wrong, but I have a concern that participating in a social media to campaign about the decriminalisation of abortion and using this platform to share your very disgust and hate for it. could send a silent message to the women, and men too, who have chosen abortion for whatever reason, personal or medical, that there is no place for them in the church.
Which is simply not true, no wrong decision is beyond God’s redemptive power. It must have been difficult for any woman who had ever made a decision to have an abortion to be on social media this week. The images shared were horrendous, the videos so horrifically graphic. It would have been traumatic to have that every time you flick up Facebook. I believe that, although God hates sins, he isn’t in the business of guilt and shame. His gig is love, compassion and forgiveness and I believe, as representatives, so should ours.
I heard Christians talk about how God hates the sin and not the sinner. P.S folks, until you truly know Jesus and have your heart transformed you are pretty oblivious to what sin is. Not everyone understands sin but everyone understands love.
““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 NLT
I have to wonder is the day abortion was decriminalised the darkest day or would it be when a bunch of women miss out on salvation because they felt too ashamed to walk through the doors of a church because the Christian in their life had avidly proclaimed this to be a horrendous sin.
If we are going to use social media as a platform to share the heart of God shouldn’t it be a message of love, not sin?
Until next time.
Much Love T x